Honestly I didn’t mean to steal it. I didn’t even need it, I wasn’t hungry, but how often do you pass up what you think is going to be a free muffin? I could have had a raised donut, which I like better, but one of those giant muffins, cut in quarters, will last me four days.
Anyhow, here’s how it happened, I go in to use the restroom and it turns out to be the best looking roadside convenience store I’ve ever been in. I have seen some, believe me!
Spacious, clean, the employees wear blue and white uniforms, and the one handling the food wears white silicone gloves and a hairnet. The bathroom is pristine clean. I am so impressed I want to fill out a little comment card and give the workers a lift for their troubles. The girl at the check-out looks up with a tired face that soon becomes a smiling one as she hustles to get a receipt (even though I hadn’t bought anything) that had on it how to offer a comment to head-quarters. Oh, good these hard-working people will get national recognition because of my small good deed for the day. She shows me the information to use to do the deed. Okay, I can make a phone call, or looky, there’s a place where you can go on-line. I have some trouble with that sometimes, so I think a cozy chat on the phone making someone feel good will be just the ticket.
After the associate hands me the receipt with all the information she says, “For doing this, you get a free baked goodie.”
“Oh, boy, I say, “I didn’t know that!” and go right over to the clear Lucite case that holds the jewels: raised donuts, crullers, chocolate éclairs, and giant muffins. They have frosted bags to put them in and long tongs with which to grab them. I carefully select a muffin because if I cut it in quarters it will last me four days, When I look around for the girl who said I could have it, I saw that she was busy so I just raised the bag in a salute and smiled and turned to go on my way. She did look harried. It made me feel good that she need not bother with me again,
I came home and, looking forward to a cozy chat, I used my home phone to call and tell someone how much I liked their store. Well, now sometimes, I’m almost too naïve to live. Of course there was no cozy chat. I followed the numbers the best I could. Press one for English and so on. After the auto-phone-robot asked how much money I spent and I successfully pressed 0 it asked why I went in there. Fortunately bathroom was on the list and I triumphantly pressed 3. Usually there’s a stumper and no one to explain to, but in this case, everything was going better than expected. They asked for my zipcode and I knew that all right. Then they asked if I bought just gas, just product, or gas and product. Zero didn’t work this time. I punched it twice and then the third time I held it down. Wouldn’t that be a good way to get a human operator? Well, no. It came back and said it didn’t understand me and that I should call back another time. Unsaid was: (WHEN YOU GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, DUMMY). I set the phone gently on its stand.
Now I’m an hour away from that place, I have cut up the muffin and put it in the refrigerator. One quarter of it waits for afternoon coffee time. I read the receipt to try to figure out what to do now. At the bottom it gives me the number I am supposed to use to redeem my muffin after I have done all this reporting stuff. I definitely owe them! I decide to go for the website, which can be a jungle for me.
I got there all right, but then I was stuck at a screen asking me to tell them how old I was. I skipped that one, but the next one wanted to know how much education I had, and after that they wanted to know when I graduated from high school. Their numbers didn’t go back that far so I pressed the last one. They said that one or earlier so I was still trying to be honest.
When I got to the end of the trail, I realized someone wanted to invite me to pay them money to educate me. It had nothing to do with muffins or the convenience store either. There were no little xs anywhere, and I couldn’t get back to the store site, so I gave up.
What now? If I ever go back to that town again I could try to stop in and pay for the muffin, but I’ll bet they would want me to do it by phone or online, and I know by now that just won’t work. Anyhow, I’m sorry I can’t tell you where to find that beautiful convenience store. I can’t tell you because, well, you see I’m on the lam and they if saw this they might send the muffin man after me.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him who steals, steal no more.